Third Annual Books To Bridge The Region to kick-off at Ivy Tech Community College

By: Ivy Tech Last Updated: October 7, 2009

Ivy Tech reaches out to students, faculty, staff and residents to raise literary awareness in NWI.

The third annual Books To Bridge The Region literacy event began October 2, 2009 with Take Time Out For Reading an initiative across Indiana encouraging everyone to take time to “Put Your Nose in a Book!” on the same day. Sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College Northwest, Purdue University Calumet, Indiana University Northwest, Friends of the Lake County Public Library, Altrusa International Inc. of the Indiana Dunes, Southlake Limousine Service, Inc., and the Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition, the event will include discussion groups and an author visit throughout the month as well as a discussion/book signing with The Ride of Our Lives Author Mike Leonard on October 22.

Ivy Tech students and staff launch this year’s Books to Bridge the Region, by putting their noses in a book.

Books To Bridge The Region is a “one book” reading initiative spanning seven counties in Northwest Indiana. “We are trying to build a community of readers showing them that reading can be very exciting and open up worlds that you may not have otherwise known. There is so much depth that can come from a book versus a movie,” explained Barbara Weaver, regional library director at Ivy Tech. “The Books To Bridge The Region goals are to create conversations among communities and foster critical thinking related to a topic and discovering that depth. Of course our focus is on the adults selection, The Ride of Our Lives, however, each of our campus libraries will also have a copy of the young adults selection, The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis and for the picture book/easy category, A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce,” said Weaver. 

Books To Bridge The Region uses a themed approach with selections at several reading levels so that families can read together and readers of all ages can enjoy conversations generated by the books. This year’s theme, Family Matters, portray three very different families- the Leonards, the Watsons and the Robinsons. Each of these families finds a way to laugh, love and grow together. 

In the spirit of involving the Ivy Tech student body, Weaver personally approached the college’s English composition instructors with copies of The Ride of Our Lives. “From serving as a great topic for research papers to spawning chapter essays the layers of themes that can be used to integrate this book into a syllabus is very broad,” said Weaver. 

Ivy Tech will co-sponsor the discussion/book signing on October 22 with Purdue University Calumet from 2pm to 3pm at the Purdue Calumet Alumni Hall-Student Union & Library, 2nd floor. For more information call any Ivy Tech campus library, 800-843-4882 or visit

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.  It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana.  It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.